Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year, is a holiday celebrated by over 1 billion people across the globe. This year the celebration will fall on February 1st and traditionally last up to 15 days. As stated in the Washington Post, Lunar New Year Symbolizes and embodies a hopeful transition from the cold winter to the season of renewal. Making the 15-day celebration full of continuing tradition with the general theme of fortune, happiness, and health.
The celebration usually kicks off with a family feast full of traditional Lunar New Year foods and typically ends with the Lantern Festival. As with any celebrated holiday, people will go all out in celebrating Lunar New Year. There will be family gatherings, the traditional and popular Dragon Dance, and red decorations and clothes.
Attracting and carrying over good fortune into the next year is a major theme of the holiday, and so is protecting against bad fortune. From the color of your clothing to cleaning and decorating, the Lunar New Year has little tradition of what to do and what not to do. For example, avoid wearing black or white, as the color is associated with mourning. Instead, wear red, which symbolizes vitality, good fortune, good luck, and prosperity. Another no’s to avoid during Lunar New Year is sweeping, as it is believed that if you sweep after Lunar New Year’s Eve, you will be sweeping away wealth and luck.
The symbolism of luck and good fortune also applied to Lunar New Year decorations such as lanterns, door couplets, Chinese firecrackers, and of course, plants. Let’s learn more about some of the plants surrounding the celebration of Lunar New Year.
Plants that bring good luck and how to take care of it
Plum Blossoms. These sakura-like flowers are better known as Mei Hwa flowers in Indonesia and can be found all over as decorations. These bright pink flowers, as reported from China Highlights, symbolize perseverance and reliability. Two traits that are essential to be successful in life.
This flowering plum tree grows best in a sunny spot with well-drained, fertile soil. So if you’re planning on planting or have just been given this tree, Garden Guides started to water the tree once a week for 10 minutes each time. Keep in mind that temperature and climate are very influential in the forming and blooming of the flower. As it is better known as a spring tree, the plant thrives in slightly colder weather with good sun exposure.
Lucky Bamboo. Bamboo has a significant presence in Chinese culture as a part of the “four noble plants”. It represents the character of resistance, moral integrity as well as modesty, and royalty. Having bamboo during the Lunar New Year is a positive symbol to encourage people to persevere and hang in there, especially throughout difficult situations.
The Lucky bamboo typically used during the celebration of Lunar New Year is not actually from the bamboo family, but the Asparagaceae. The actual name of the plant is Dracaena sanderiana. It has a bright green stalk with a bamboo-like appearance and stalk that will curl and twist as it grows. This plant is extremely easy to take care of, perfect for ornamental plant beginners. It can be grown in water or soil, depending on your preference. If planting in soil, simply refresh the water every week and make sure the roots are covered. If planting in soil, it will need to be watered when the top inch of the soil is dry to the touch. Keep in mind to also place the Lucky Bamboo out of direct sunlight.
Mandarin Orange. You may notice that during the Lunar New Year there’s an abundance of oranges available. This is because the Chinese word for oranges happens to be a pun on luck and fortune, having them around is believed to bring good fortune. The shape and color of the oranges look like the sun and are aligned with the yang (positive) principle, according to China Highlights, making them a highly auspicious symbol of abundance and happiness.
Taking care of a mandarin orange tree is also considered easy. The tree will need watering once every week. This tree can also benefit from pruning now and then. Pruning the damaged branch and leaves ensures that whatever pest or disease that cause them did not spread to the rest of the plant. Pruning them also ensures that there’s good airflow around the plant. It is especially good to help ripen the fruits.
Peace Lily. This white flower is believed to have healing and cleansing powers. There are a few lilies to choose from as part of the Lunar New Year Celebration. There’s the aforementioned Peace Lily, the Chinese Sacred Lily that symbolizes good fortune and prosperity, and the Sword Lily that symbolizes a particular Chinese phrase indicating a rise in career and self-development.
Having lilies at home during Lunar New Year is not only auspicious, but it can also help to clean the air. Yes, the plant can help filter chemicals such as formaldehyde, benzene, and ammonia out of your home. These tropical flowers love bright places but not direct sunlight. It also needs watering every morning and afternoon, taking care to keep the soil moist but no puddles of water. And as with any ornamental plants, it will need regular application of fertilizer to help them bloom.
Money Tree. This plant couldn’t be more perfect for celebrating Lunar New Year. With the general theme of bringing good fortune, Money Tree or Pachira aquatica symbolize financial success. It is believed to bring good luck and positive energy to a room.
The Money Tree requires some humidity for it to thrive. Try to keep the humidity high through misting or placing the pot in a tray of pebbles and water. Place them in bright, indirect light and let the top 5 cm of soil dry out before rewatering the plant.
Written by: Safaanah